Recent titles of interest:
An American Guide to America: For Immigrants and the Curious, By Roy Hakakian. (Knopf, $ 27.) This poignant account of an Iranian-born poet details the quarrels of the house adopted by him: money that appears in all the same, well-stocked markets where the fruit has no smell.
STAMPEDE: Gold Fever and Disaster in Klondike, By Brian Kester. (Doubleday, $ 28.95.) The Yukon gold rush of 1897–98 attracted over one hundred thousand illiterate migrants to some harsh conditions on Earth. Thousands died, and some prospered. Castner’s entertaining book traces this history.
PERSIST, By Elizabeth Warren. (Metropolitan, $ 27.99. Part memoir, part political manifesto, this call to arms by a Massachusetts senator draws on key moments from her life to make a case for personal persistence and progressive policy such as access to universal childcare and education.
Something far away from home: a black millennial woman in progress, By Vanessa Baden Kelly. (Three rooms, paper, $ 17.) Kelly’s reflective personal essays are based on current events and cultural criticism to explore the meaning of “home” for black people.
MYSTERIES, By Marissa Silver. (Bloomsbury, $ 26.) Family and friendship is the central mystery of Silver’s latest novel, which took place in the early 1970s and is a sinister bond between young girls.
What we are reading:
Having learned to play chess as a child with my grandfather, I have always enjoyed sports stories. Unexpectedly, I binged the Netflix series, “The Queen’s Gambit,” about a fictional chess prodigy. But the hero of Paco Cerda’s recent Spanish novel, Arturo Pomar EL PEÓN (“The Pawn”), a real-life baffling surprise that became Spain’s first grandmaster and whose teenage exploits were used by the Franco dictatorship to showcase Spanish talent when a large portion of the population was still Was also illiterate. Weaving in anecdotes about other “pawns” of 20th-century politics, Semmer’s book focuses on the 1962 play between Pomer and the American prodigy Bobby Fisher (exploited to promote himself). The game between Pomar and Fisher ended in a draw. However, the novel presents both players among many extraordinary people whose lives were sacrificed at the altar of Cold War interests.
-Rafil Minder, Reporter, International Edition